Boys Volleyball: Elk Grove rolls past Fenton, eyes state run
Updated: April 18, 2012 9:37PM
Elk Grove has not won a conference title in nearly 20 years. The Grenadiers have not been to state since finishing third in 1993.
But a victory over Mid-Suburban East Rival Buffalo Grove, the Bison’s first loss in league play since 2007, and a winning streak that reached 13 matches with Wednesday’s 25-17, 25-9 victory over Fenton, have Elk Grove thinking big.
“This is the best team I’ve been on,” said 6-5 senior Michal Kawa, who led the Grenadiers with nine kills and two aces Wednesday. “We have really good chemistry. We all hang out with other all the time. The guys play sports together — basketball, football, volleyball.”
Kawa, who plays for Hitmen Volleyball Club in Glen Ellyn with some of his Elk Grove teammates and a few players from Glenbard West, is the Grenadiers’ top attacker. He was brought up to varsity late in his freshman season and was a member of last year’s regional championship team.
“All of us have pretty big swings,” said Kawa, an all-conference selection a year ago who has committed to play next season at Division II Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina, a small private school that is adding men’s volleyball in 2012-2013.
“Aaron (Kraus) and I usually have big swings, and other guys have been stepping up,” he added. “(Setter Jeff) Miceli has been on varsity since his sophomore year, too, and I’ve been playing with him all four years. We have really good chemistry together.”
Miceli, who had 21 assists and five aces Wednesday, is a rarity in modern high school athletics.
“He’s an incredible athlete,” said eighth-year Elk Grove coach Dan Windholz. “He was all-conference in football, and a star on the basketball team. He’s a three-sport athlete, which doesn’t happen anymore. He definitely runs the team.”
If Windholz could add one ingredient to his team, it might be a nasty streak.
“They’re a great group of kids,” he said. “Sometimes, they’re too nice. We came in here tonight and were having fun and started out really flat. I wanted to get those bench kids in that whole second game, so that first game upset me a little bit.
“But when they turn it on, when we play teams like Buffalo Grove, then it’s on and they’re playing spot on,” he added. “I think that goes with a lot of teams.”
The Grenadiers (14-3) will need to be spot on next Tuesday when Buffalo Grove visits Elk Grove for the rematch.
“They’re going to come in here and they’re not going to be happy after we won that match in their gym,” Windholz said. “(Buffalo Grove coach Aiello) Matt’s going to have them fired up.”
Fenton, which got two kills from Razi Mesino and Yoni Enriquez, fell to 2-15 with Wednesday’s loss.
“They played hard,” first-year Fenton coach Heather Snyder said. “They definitely had fun today. They returned some hits that we wouldn’t have returned any other game. I see it moving into a more positive direction.
“We struggled with some things at the beginning of the season,” she added. “But now we’re coming together and hopefully we’ll just build on this and improve from here on out.”